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All Is Not Well

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Well damn.

All that excitement about Kevin Martin's return? Well, all that wind just fled the balloon. It made that pfffffft sound. Jason Levien, Martin's agent, raised some concerns about Reggie Theus' statements last week about how Martin and Mike Bibby will have to earn their starting roles back with defense and effort. That led to Sam Amick talking with Bibby about the issue, which raised some more concerns. And it raised Reggie's ire.

We all chafed a bit, I think, when Reggie insisted his players could play if they could practice. If nothing else, it was a bit uncomfortable; there was some sense of disconnect. And it'd be hard not to sense frustration in Reggie's comments -- of course, he wants all his weapons back ASAP. In Reggie's day, as today's story indicates, you didn't really hang out wait for the doctor's note if you felt good. Today, you have to. There's too much money -- for the player, for the franchise -- at stake. A win over Memphis is less important than tearing a sprained groin or reaggravating a torn thumb ligament. As Levien notes, doctors know when it's safe to return much better than Reggie would.

The big hitch in all this seems to be a lack of communication between Theus and the two injured fellows. And Theus, as great a job as he's done this year, seems to be at fault here. Read this, from today's story, with emphases added:

"I didn't question Kevin or the medical staff," he said. "I don't do that. The only thing I started asking questions about is when (the medical staff) said he was cleared for full-blown practice. Then, to me, that means that he's a few days away. If a player is playing full speed at practice, he should play."

I think that qualifies as questioning Kevin or the medical staff. I'm assuming the docs have reasons why practice is OK versus a full-on game; namely, they/the player can control effort and time of action in practice, but cannot in a game setting where effort is "full" and playing time is asserted by Theus. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there's no difference. In that case, should Reggie have asked the medical staff/the players privately or gone through the media? Well, here's how Reggie feels about going through the media.
"If (Levien) had a question, he should've called me," Theus said.

Theus should've had the same courtesy for both the doctors and Martin and Bibby. He did not. He was wrong.

Hopefully, there are no hard feelings and it's a lesson learned. Unfortunately, Reggie doesn't seem convinced he did anything wrong. Awesome.